Yet Not I, But the Grace which was with Me
by Impact Church
1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain: but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Ah, firsthand stories arrive from the battlefield, and we lean in as decorated soldiers describe in detail the outwitting or demise of their enemies. Describe the dangers and moment to moment decisions required to survive – and our hearts beat faster, our throats gulp, and our eyes moisten.
Stories of human conflict and struggle weave for us precious tapestries, unforgettable and priceless. For the color of their character is highlighted in attributes true soldiers respect – valor, courage and sacrifice!
Yet, even with such earthy heroism rewarded and honored, no warfare is more dramatic than those engaging in Kingdom matters. The conflicts these soldiers enter are of another ilk and nature. Yes, these enemies are far more subtle and challenging, but their victories are sweeter and their rewards far richer!
So how exhilarating are the testimonies of the battle-scarred when their stories began and end with the grace of God! While soldiers of this life are promoted for skill and decorated for bravery, soldiers of the Cross take no personal credit for accomplishments. They know their strength, their ability and their victories are only testaments to the power and presence of another.
Otherworldly are the praises that flow from those who know their Captain has already defeated the enemies they confront.
Whether we’re given advance notice of spiritual skirmishes, or perhaps we’re even presently in the midst of hostile circumstances, or whether we’re relishing, post-war, the sight of Pharaoh’s chariots upside down in the sea – the soldiers of the Kingdom live only to magnify the grace that made them victorious!
Experiential boldness comes when God’s chosen grasp Grace’s full impartation to their communal psyche and assignment. Understanding that grace extends beyond mere membership of a divine community, they sense also the ability grace provides in doing the very works Christ did in His short, but soldierly stint.
Grace to that grateful group is never wasted by striving vainly in human strength. They’ve seen their Captain in full power; and with His ordination inspiring their confidence, they simply follow His steps and employ His strength!
First, may Paul’s humbled, transparent indebtedness to grace be the pattern we seek to follow. And secondly, may the grace we’ve received springboard love’s transformative works through us to those who don’t know Him!